True History and Sartarite Plate

From: Jonas Schiott (jonas.schiott@vinga.hum.gu.se)
Date: Mon 28 Oct 1996 - 12:03:06 EET


Just adding my voice to those who crave an 'objective' history. But then
you all knew my standpoint already, didn't you? :-)

But to be more precise (and take some of the previous statement back) the
objective history is kind of limited. It can take care of brute facts, like
"In the year X, an army from country A invaded country B", or "After Arkat
and Whatever-you-want-to-call-him duked it out, only one person emerged. He
claimed to be Arkat." But the questions like _why_ the army rolled in, or
_who_ this "Arkat" person really was, only have subjective answers.

So far, this is familiar to any student of RW history. The really tricky
bit is how religion and mythology enter into the equation. Ideas on this
range from "The Mythical World is completely Unknowable and anything
mortals say or perceive about it (like anthropomorphical gods...) is 100%
subjective" to "The Gods are real individuals, just like your next-door
neighbour, and their personalities and actions have the same coherency - or
lack of it, as the case may be."

Generalizing slightly, Myth intrudes on History in two ways. The first is
large-scale magical happenings - say, the Sunstop. These aren't a big
problem, since all the fun is in the speculating. I'm not sure I want to
know what that was 'really' all about. The second is the more personal kind
of contact, usually exemplified on the list by questions like "What Cult
did these guys worship before the current one?", or even "Is the God these
people worship really who they think it is?" These questions demand
concrete and at least semi-objective answers.

- --

A minor detail: yes, the ban on plate armor is an obvious gaming construct,
and an RQ2 one, at that. Under RQ2 rules, it was perfectly possible for the
average fighter to clunk around in full plate without spilling a drop of
sweat. The only question was if you could afford the stuff. My speculation
is that the ban was an MGFish construct to get all those Wind Lords out of
their nigh-impregnable iron plate and into some bronze chainmail that could
let through the occasional point of damage... With an RQ3 perspective, the
whole thing seems a bit silly.

Another detail relating to a discussion a few digests back: in the Chaosium
house campaign, the Apple Lane scenarios took place in 1612, according to
Wyrm's Footnotes.

/ Jonas Schiott / This is weather the cuckoo likes, armored
/ History of Ideas and Science / division submissive to vernacular the
/ Goteborg University / world into a gambling birdhouse velocity

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